“Sometimes to get the measure of your life you just need a break from being yourself.”
A family man struggling in his pursuit of a work/life balance embarks on yet another trip at the whims of his tyrannical bitch of a boss. But on this trip he is a world apart from his usual self. Suddenly confident, capable and unafraid of his manager, reclaiming his life becomes less about corporate advancement and satisfying his ego than outright revenge on his boss. With nothing but success in his wake and seemingly limitless potential at his disposal, being coerced to work with his nemesis in a remote corner of the world provides the opportunity for not just a confrontation, but a final solution to what he sees as the bane of his life. Succeed or fail, either way this trip will be the making of him or the end of him.
Sometimes to get the measure of your life you just need a break from being yourself… because nothing lasts forever.
* * *
The Traveller is an adult novel written by Garret Addison.
At 200 pages, The Traveller would have been a quick read had it not been incredibly cerebral. Most of this book is comprised of inner monologue, which means the reader is told about almost every event rather than being allowed to see for themselves. The author really missed a lot of opportunities to let the other characters shine in their benevolence and villainy, and so their respective endings feel mediocre and without any real triumph.
Everything is filtered through the mind of a nameless business-traveling protagonist, who is the only character the author lets us relate to, and if you find yourself unsympathetic, this book will hit the pavement like a sack of bricks.
Despite The Traveller‘s shortcomings, there were some narrative gems that make this book a great choice for those who enjoy dark humor:
Regarding his boss’ ability to take the protagonist from his family, he writes, “there are voids in our time together at the dubious whims of a manager with all the human qualities of a virus.”
And after he finishes trimming the fat from a company via consultation, he notes, “the look on the faces of each [employee] and their underlings was such that I was unclear as to whether they were set to empty their desks and resign with perhaps a little dignity intact, or head to the roof directly and terminate their lives to match their careers.”
Unfortunately, dark humor is not enough for me to enjoy this book as a whole, and while the ending warrants a second read, I must politely decline.
About the Author
Garrett is forty something, Australian, and also a geek, husband, father and novelist. He grew up in Perth, Western Australia, and has been lucky enough to live in or visit most of Australia and much of the world. He now lives in Melbourne with his family. Not averse to change, thus far, he has been an Army officer, software consultant and author. But this is just the beginning.
For more about Addison and The Traveller, check out his website.
And for more free reads, check out FetchingFigment’s Serial Fiction page!